Religious Formation

February 8, 2019


On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than 3 years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25th, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” 

Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail, Mary, and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin.” 

During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was “something white in the shape of a girl.” She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.” It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.” Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.

Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.  Today many people, even Catholics, don’t realize that the Immaculate Conception refers to the miracle of Mary’s conception without sin.  Many people believe that it refers to the Virgin birth of Jesus. Mary was given this gift because God knew she would say, “Yes” to His call to be the mother of the Messiah.

Our First Sacraments class is preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).  The parents will have a mandatory instructional meeting on Sunday, February 10th at 9:30am in the St. Augustine Room.  On Saturday, February 16th, those students who have been attending class regularly and prepared properly will receive First Reconciliation (Confession).  Father will start promptly at 9am in the main church. The children take turns in the confessional and are free to leave after they finish their Penance.  We still have class on Sunday, February 17th at 9:30am, and expect to see all children’s smiling faces.  Also, that Sunday is our third mandatory parents’ meeting in preparation of First Communion. 

Keep having the children practice their prayers: The Sign of the Cross (using their right hand), The Glory Be, Hail, Mary, the Our Father, Guardian Angel, Act of Contrition, and the Apostles’ Creed. 

God Bless,

Laurann Donahue

Director of Religious Education (DRE)